In May of 2018, the FDA began to enforce menu labeling regulations, requiring restaurant chains with 20 or more locations to provide calorie and nutrition information on their menus. While independent restaurant owners and smaller chain operators aren’t covered under these guidelines, they do have the option to voluntarily opt-in to these requirements. Whether you’re running one or multiple locations, food service establishments are all facing an increasing demand to provide nutrition information. If you are deciding whether to add nutrition content to your menu, you might be wondering “How will this benefit my restaurant?”. Below are four ways in which nutritional calculations can positively impact your business.
Adapt to growing consumer expectations
The restaurant industry is constantly changing. For today’s and tomorrow’s consumers, menu transparency is crucial. Diners in every age group are demanding detailed nutrition information about the food they order. 66% of respondents in a Healthy Eating Consumer Survey, stated that they look for calorie counts on restaurant menus. Providing nutrition information will be extremely helpful to cater to health-conscious customers.
Having this data also prepares your restaurants for the needs of future generations. The National Restaurant Association’s Industry report noted that Gen Z has high expectations for full and easily accessible data on nutrition and ingredients of restaurant foods.
Opportunity to Increase Revenue
Calculating nutrition facts gives your restaurant a competitive edge. Readily available nutrition information plays a role in a guest’s decision-making process when choosing their dining place. Providing this data allows you to attract customers and increase revenue.
A study found that NYC Starbucks locations increased their revenue by up to 3 percent after posting calorie information. Consumers substituted away from Dunkin Donuts toward Starbucks since they were able to make more informed decisions given nutrition and calorie facts. With nutrition data, you can stand out from the competition.
Leverage Nutrition Calculations to Enhance Meals
70% of restaurant guests are looking for healthy menu options. BOH staff can leverage nutritional calculations to enhance meals and tweak recipes. Simple changes to your dishes can help you improve the overall nutritional profile of your menu. With online nutritional calculators, you can easily swap ingredients and quickly figure out how these changes impact your dishes’ calorie content. These types of flexible tools enable you to discover simple nutrition-boosting strategies that cater to the rising number of healthy food fanatics.
Increase Customer Loyalty
Providing patrons with better information about their food choices plays an important role in building consumer trust and brand reputation. A survey found that 86% of all consumers call for menu transparency. Guests feel more confident about the food they order given calorie counts and nutrition details. Labeling these facts on your menu will help you build loyalty and encourage repeat visits.
How can your restaurant obtain nutritional data?
Now that you are aware of all these potential benefits you might be wondering: What is the best way to get nutritional data for your menu? There are a few ways to calculate this information.
1. Send food samples for analysis at certified nutritional laboratories. While this option provides the most accurate results, the process can be both expensive and inflexible. Once you are provided with nutrient values you will not be able to tweak recipes since this data will no longer be up to date.
2. You can attempt to work out data yourself. This method can be both tedious and inaccurate. You will need to produce an ingredient excel sheet, calculate the portion size, and the number of calories and nutrients per dish.
3. A third option is using innovative platforms that provide nutritional calculations, such as CertiStar. Our nutritional calculations feature provides automated nutrition information for your entire menu. Staff will be able to tweak recipes and get real-time nutrition and calorie data. Our simple platform generates food labels both digitally and printed, allowing you to share information with your patrons however works best for you. CertiStar makes nutrition analysis effortless.
(Image of CertiStar Nutrition Analysis Feature)